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Posts Tagged ‘students’

Keuka Students, Teachers Embrace Eastern Europe

After almost two years of modern-day “pen pal” communication via Skype, a number of Keuka College education majors finally met – in person – the Slovakian high school students they previously saw on the computer screen.

Vrable high school students meet their American online "pen pals"

This group Field Period included education majors, taught by Dr. Denise Love and Dr. Klaudia Lorinczova, both assistant professors of education, and other Keuka students, including several visual and verbal art majors taught by Melissa Newcomb, assistant professor of art. The Keuka Field Period is a required annual internship or exploratory study of 140 hours.

Clock Tower by Michael Fisher

Seventeen students, two faculty members and two parent chaperones traveled overseas in early June to visit the cities of Prague, Nitra, Bratislava and Vienna. Over 11 days, Newcomb directed students in photographic study of architecture and culture while Lorinczova led an exploration of Slovakian education and other unique social, political and cultural traditions of her home country and its European neighbors. Students had already gone through weeks of “pre-teaching” in advance of the trip, learning from Lorinczova a number of cultural anomalies to expect and reviewing a manual on basic digital photography with Newcomb, as well as gaining a basic understanding of architectural styles such as Baroque, Gothic or Rococo.

A last-minute foot injury kept Love confined at home, but ultimately, she was able to coordinate from the couch, helping the two professors “on the ground” navigate unexpected challenges almost as soon as they cropped up. The first biggie: severe flooding in many portions of Prague – the first stop on the trip –shortly after the group arrived. Love offered advice and assistance with the travel agency as the group moved around Prague and then on to other cities, and communicated with Newcomb and Lorinczova via daily Skype sessions.

Floods by Sarah Hillman

All three professors recommended “an anchor” back home, given the benefits gleaned in this experience. The three professors had previously structured the trip to include student reflections in words and images, utilizing online blogs as electronic journals. The blogs proved a saving grace for worried parents back home who heard news reports of the flooding much earlier than the students themselves. And while students did post a few photos of flooded streets and commentary on dealing with nonstop rains, images of cathedrals, statues, gardens, public squares, restaurants and cafes far outnumbered them.

Keuka Group on tour by Melissa Newcomb

In the words of Sarah Hillman ‘13, a final, rainy day in Prague was salvaged with a spur-of-the-moment museum tour, where the whole group saw “paintings, sculptures, and other works from Alfons Mucha and Salvador Dali. They were great!” (more…)

Students, Community Residents Team Up to Make a Difference Through Celebrate Service… Celebrate Yates

By Desiree Ford ’13

Volunteers got their green thumbs together for the Community Garden

On Sunday, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Jim Blackburn welcomed the 184 volunteers for the Celebrate Service…Celebrate Yates (CSCY)  community service day  by sharing the new Keuka College mission statement:“To create exemplary citizens and leaders to serve the nation and the world of the 21st century.”

Dean Blackburn welcomes volunteers to the kickoff ceremony (Stephanie Lockhart '15)

For the 16th year, CSCY volunteers showed just how exemplary members of the College and community truly are by stepping up to serve 24 non-profit agencies across Yates County. Each year, non-profits, including youth camps, community centers, churches, libraries, fire departments and more gain a helping hand from area residents and Keuka students  who come together to pitch in on spring cleaning projects.

CSCY is a collaboration between the College and Yates County Chamber of Commerce, with support from local merchants and business sponsors.

Community service is nothing  new for Class of 2016 members Preston Vick, Jake Altman, and Rich Weit, who signed up for CSCY with other members of the Keuka men’s soccer team. While CSCY is not something the players are required to do, team members still volunteer for the day, Altman said. The trio worked with others to rake leaves  at Camp Cory on the east side of Keuka Lake,

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“Signs” of Success

A student of Cerney's practices signing from the front of the room during a traditional Keuka course. (Photo by Stephanie Lockhart '16)

Sure, Assistant Professor of American Sign Language- English Interpreting (ASL-EI) Brian Cerney puts “ghost interpreters” to work in traditional courses.

But there’s nothing to be afraid of.

Cerney’s”ghost interpreters” are his ASL students, who attend a traditional class and take turns signing for one another. The practice is one of many employed by Cerney, who directs numerous elements in the discipline. Cerney works with fellow Keuka faculty to give ASL students real-life opportunities to “ghost interpret” traditional classes, such as those in psychology, English or other unrelated fields. With permission of the teaching instructor,  a trio of ASL-EI students, for example, will rotate signing through the course lecture of a willing professor, switching every 15-18 minutes. The seated ASL students will check the interpreter’s message for accuracy.

Because no deaf student is dependent upon the interpretation, “ghost interpreting” becomes  practice without risk, Cerney said. Added benefits for instructors and non-ASL students are that they can become comfortable with interpreters in the classroom.

“Dr. Cerney provides valuable first-hand opportunities that profoundly enrich students’ understanding of their chosen field– the epitome of experiential learning,” said Dr. Anne Weed, vice president for academic affairs.

Cerney initially hoped for five non-ASL faculty members to make a course and classroom available for ASL students to ghost interpret but received 20 volunteers, representing courses in organic chemistry, anatomy, English literature, and occupational therapy, among others. Students have also signed at special events and church services.

Professor of Psychology Drew Arnold lectures to students while an ASL-EI student interprets in sign at the front of the classroom.

Ruthanne Hackman, assistant professor of social work, has welcomed student ghost interpreters to her Social Work Ethics and Diversity course. She said her own social work students get to experience what it might be like to attend a conference workshop with an ASL interpreter.

“In addition, in learning about diverse populations, we discuss reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities and ethical issues regarding working with interpreters for people with language isolation or English as a second language.  Students can directly pull from their experiences with the ASL student interpreters, then expand the conversation to compare and contrast to populations with other disabilities, culture, or language needs,” Hackman said. “I look forward to having [ghost interpreters] in my class this coming semester.”

Dr. Brian Cerney, assistant professor of ASL-EI for Keuka (Photo by Stephanie Lockhart '16)

According to Cerney, an ASL student is not allowed to practice interpreting in one of the courses he or she is registered for credit. Senior ASL students complete 36 hours of ghost interpreting, as well as 15 hours of “shadow” interpreting, when students follow the two primary campus interpreters who voice lectures for deaf instructors Sharon Staehle and Dorothy Wilkins or sign voiced meetings as interpretation for either instructor.

“It’s a restricted set of opportunities which is why it’s a smaller number of hours,” Cerney explained. As students observe the work of the professional interpreters, if and when it makes sense, they may be pulled into translation with the professional, he said.

According to Dr. Doug Richards, chair of Keuka’s humanities and fine arts division, the ghost interpreting provides ASL-EI students “invaluable practical experience in ‘live/real world’ signing, and as a side benefit exposes a wide range of Keuka students to ASL signing – a win-win.”

Cerney concluded: “The Keuka philosophy of learning by doing is alive and well in the interpreting program.”

College-Winery Partnership: Wine Not?

The win-win partnership between Keuka’s Division of Business and Management and Fox Run Vineyards is so beneficial to both that it just might call for a toast.

Keuka's 2012 Business Entrepreneurship class, with Neil Siebenhar.

For the second straight year, Fox Run has supplied students in Keuka’s Business Entrepreneurship class, with four vintages of wine to market as souvenirs in a microbusiness operation that runs from concept and sales strategy, to inventory management and accounting, to delivery of goods. The off-site sales add to the winery’s revenues while providing students a unique opportunity to learn the ins and outs of operating a small business.

The course and the winery partnerships, which have included Hunt Country Vineyards in Branchport and Keuka Springs in Penn Yan, have coincided hand-in-hand since 1991. Currently taught by Neil Siebenhar, chair of the division and retiring associate professor of business, the class is offered in the spring of each year. The specialty-label wines are marketed as “bottled memories” to the graduating class, their parents, alumni, staff, and faculty of the College. (more…)

Learning the Hand, Hands-On

The occupational therapy students pass skeletal hand forms back and forth along the table top counters in the science lab room. Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy Holly Preston quizzes them on the bones, joints and muscles that connect each intricate part of the fingers, thumb, palm and wrist.

As part of Preston’s pop quiz, the students palpate their palms and observe the innate response of their fingers to the change in pressure. In addition to the natural study their own bodies provide for the class – Applied Anatomy – Preston passes out iPads for students to share and instructs them to open up an app called “Muscle and Bone Anatomy 3D.”

Sophomore Caleigh Alterio uses her fingertips to scroll from a muscular view of the body to a 360-degree rotation of the skeleton. Across the table, sophomore Nick Scherer scrolls through a similar screen image on his personal iPad, pointing out how it lets the viewer see multiple layers of muscle and bone, all of which can be rotated in 3-D. The download was just $7, he says.

Nick Scherer works with the iPad app in anatomy class

“It’s so cool just being able to actually see what we’re feeling,” sophomore Mackenzie Berger says as she mimics the movements of the arm, wrist and hand onscreen with her own appendage.

“I didn’t know the answer to [labeling] pictures on the lab exam, so this helps,” adds sophomore Taylor Szwec.  Indeed, the iPad app boasts video and even has an online quiz feature that Preston encourages students to work through. (more…)

“Doctoring Up:” Realist painter, sculptor exhibits at Keuka

Final in a series of three paintings.

The faces and forms of the people in his paintings look as though the individuals brushed into living color could step right off the canvas and into conversation.

They look, in a word, real. And that’s exactly how artist Lennie Muscarella of Victor wants it to be.

“If you were right next to it, it looks like a hodgepodge, but step back 10 feet and you’ve got a photograph,” he said, explaining that a number of contemporary painters in the same Realist style he aspires to are currently striving to master that technique.

Muscarella had lots of time to become intimately acquainted with the human face and figure. After studying biology at St. Bonaventure University, and a brief stint in the U.S. Navy, he entered dental school at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Self-portrait of Muscarella surrounded by the people and things he loves: a canvas of his wife during her battle with cancer, his Bible, paintbrushes, and clocks representing the passing of time. He calls this painting "The Human Condition."

Though he had given up art school to pursue a “day job” that could support a family, Muscarella found himself rewarded, he said, because dental school turned out to be “a very sophisticated art school.”

“They taught you how to paint porcelain and you have to know your colors inside out to match anteriors [teeth], and they hone your sculpting skills down to a tenth of a millimeter and bless them, they give you the privilege—not the right, but the privilege—to dissect the human body twice,” he said. “As a figure painter, you can’t get any better than that.”

While he may be “Dr. Muscarella” by day, in his free time he is simply “lennie” the artist, and yes, he spells it lowercase, because painting such a long name with a brush involves more work. “It’s much easier, if [I] use the one name,” he said.

In Muscarella’s mind, dental school was also a saving grace because had he instead entered art school in 1977, he would have confronted what he considers “a horrible year, the post-modern movement, [which] we’ve suffered from the last 40 years. They threw away all the technique and all the skill level is gone.

“I’m so sick and tired of people signing toasters or toilets and calling it art. It’s the king and his clothes, and people have got to be told the king is naked,” he said. “America’s got a wonderful crop of world-class figure painters on the East Coast right now making a comeback—they’ve held the fort up quite well.”

Muscarella will also show some of his drawings and sculptures at the Keuka exhibit, which continues through April 13. While he enjoys both sculpting and oil painting, casting sculptures is more expensive, so he tends to lean toward toward painting, he said.

“Painting is like playing the violin and sculpture is like playing the drums — it’s more physical. There’s a hammer involved, welders, tables with clamps on them. It’s very satisfying in its own way. I like both. But [sculpture’s] a lot messier.”

"The Huddle"

Muscarella will meet the public Thursday, March 22 during an artist’s reception, 4:15 – 6 p.m. in Keuka College’s Lightner Gallery, where light refreshments will be served. Prior to the reception, Muscarella will give a demonstration of his oil painting technique, known as the old master’s method, to Keuka drawing and painting students taught by Melissa Newcomb, assistant professor of art. And while it would be impossible to finish a work that typically takes 60 to 90 hours in an hour-and-a-half, Muscarella plans on giving them a significant taste in the science of it.

To that end, he will dissect one of his portraits in progress, creating a four-part cross-section on linen canvas where one quarter of the portrait is simply his drawing, and the next is coated with a sepia-tone wash of diluted oil paints. The final two quarters are in stages he calls “underpainting” and “almost done.” During the demonstration, Muscarella will take each cross-section to the next stage of completion. The canvas-in-progress will be put on display during the reception.

“It’s the process of making art, the doing that’s important,” Muscarella said. “Once one [work] is done, it’s time to move on to the next, like a rainbow in the next field. You never quite get there, and you’re always chasing it.”

 

In Search of the Modern Man

In today’s world, men are struggling to find their role and identify the “script” they’re supposed to follow in regards to manhood, says Jennie Joiner. In short, there’s a crisis of confusion, and it’s time to talk about it.

“If we’ve redefined feminism, we need to redefine [masculinity],” says Joiner, assistant professor of English at Keuka College. “We’re in an interesting space culturally where no one wants to step up and do that – it makes everyone uncomfortable.”

In a recent talk Joiner presented on “Lifting the Fig Leaf to Reveal Hidden Masculinities,” she explored contemporary notions of masculinity in the figurative cowboy as depicted in the novel True Grit and its two film versions. The cowboy – a specifically American icon – has always embodied the conflicting issues seen in manhood, she said.

As a mythic figure sporting the “costume bling” of chaps, boots, spurs, hat and Winchester rifle, the cowboy exhibits freedom from societal rules, structure, and family connections, while risking a reputation as a hard-drinking, gambling hell-raiser who can “blow the lights out of town,” she said. His pledge of allegiance to a ranching outfit and his commitment only to bring the cows home gives him the romantic aura of a knight on a quest, and keeps him freely roaming in a “neutral” space where he can create an identity, Joiner said.
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